The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation’s Agricultural Division and Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service will host the 17th Annual Southern Plains Beef Symposium from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 11, at the Ardmore Convention Center in Ardmore, Okla.

With the theme High Energy Costs and Other Challenges Facing the Beef Industry, this year’s symposium brings together four speakers from Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska, who will address topics that are impacting today’s cattle industry. An expert panel discussion also will be a part of the symposium. This panel will offer participants an opportunity to ask questions and discuss topics specific to their operation.

“The Southern Plains Beef Symposium is an excellent event for beef producers to gain valuable insight and information into issues they currently face,” said Shan Ingram, the Noble Foundation’s Education and Special Projects Manager. “Due to good sponsorship and cooperation by several entities, we are able to have highly sought after speakers at this event.”

The four speakers are:

· Jeanne Schneider, Ph.D., a research meteorologist with the USDA-ARS Grazinglands Research Laboratory in El Reno. A native of the Missouri Ozarks, Schneider’s talk is entitled Variable Climate in the Southern Plains: Turning the Challenge into an Opportunity. Schneider researches climate variability and how to integrate climate forecasts into risk-based management tools for agriculture and water resources.

· James Mintert, Ph.D., an Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist with Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. Mintert will update attendees on the cattle and grain markets, as well as offer insight into the future of each market, during his presentation, Cattle and Grain Situation and Outlook. Mintert is a recognized authority on livestock marketing. Along with his numerous annual presentations, Mintert performs a weekly market outlook for the AgManager Web site at KSU.

· Kevin C. Dhuyvetter, Ph.D., a State Extension Farm Management Specialist with Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. Dhuyvetter’s presentation – Impact of Higher Energy and Corn Prices on Forage-Based Beef Production – will address the influence of higher energy and grain prices on the cattle industry and the forages that grow and maintain it. Dhuyvetter has extensive experience working with the livestock industry on marketing, risk and financial management issues.

· Tom Nofsinger, D.V.M., is a practicing veterinarian at Benkelman, Neb., with a strong interest in animal behavior and cattle handling techniques. A frequently requested speaker, Nofsinger has given presentations across the country. His presentation at the symposium is entitled Cattle Care and Handling Considerations.

Along with the speakers, there will be an afternoon panel discussion. Panelists include: Phil Mannschreck, cow-calf producer from Anadarko; Tim Haines, integrated cow-calf producer from Lexington; Jerry White, stocker operator from Chickasha; Walter Lasley, cattle feeder and feedlot operator from Stratford, Texas; and Dave Hutcheson, feedlot nutritionist from Amarillo, Texas. The assembled panelists have vast backgrounds and extensive experience in the beef industry. They will highlight their operations and relay how they are coping with the high energy costs as well as other challenges, followed by a question-and-answer session with symposium attendees.

The Noble Foundation’s Leonard Wyatt Distinguished Cooperator of the Year Award will be presented at the symposium as well. The award honors the best of the Agricultural Division’s 1,400 farmers and ranchers, who work in conjunction with the Noble Foundation’s agricultural specialists. The symposium also will feature a trade show, which will showcase more than 40 booths.

Registration for the symposium costs $25 per person ($30 at the door) and includes the entire program and lunch. For additional information or to register, contact Tracy Cumbie at 580.224.6460 or by e-mail at tlcumbie@noble.org.